Photo gallery: Tournament of Roses 2018 Grand Marshal Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise and Pres. Lance Tibbet at the announcement of the 2018 Rose Parade Grand Marshal. Photo by LB Monteros

by Laura Berthold Monteros 

The pictures tell the story—Gary Sinise accepts the honor to serve as the Grand Marshal for the 129th Rose Parade and 104th Rose Bowl Game for Jan. 1, 2017 from Pres. Lance Tibbet. Sinise was chosen for his exceptional humanitarian work with veterans and first responders. He embodies the theme “Making a Difference.” For more about the ceremony, read “Gary Sinise, humanitarian and actor, is Grand Marshal for 2018 Rose Parade.”

Preceding the announcement, the crowd was entertained with numbers from the World War II era played by the Fabus Four and sung by the San Andreas Sisters. The group was every bit as tight as swing era bands and had the style down to a T. Here’s their rendition of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”  We apologize for the quality of the video!

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Gary Sinise, humanitarian and actor, is Grand Marshal for 2018 Rose Parade

Gary Sinise, Grand Marshal of the 2018 Rose Parade, shakes hand with Pres. Lance Tibbett. Photo by LB Monteros

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Media and guests were entertained by the San Andreas Sisters swing singers before the announcement, so guesses about World War II vets or actors in WWII movies, since one of the hints beforehand was about the Academy Awards, were rampant. Tournament of Roses President Lance Tibbet took the stage and dropped the typical hints—“selfless service,” “incredible humanitarian,” “embodiment of the theme,” which is “Making a Difference.”

“The Tournament is about many things,” he said, “…but mostly, it’s about people quietly doing good things.” People who put the “kind” in humankind.

As is the wont of the presidents, Tibbet slowly narrowed the field. This person cofounded a theater company that is a training ground for actors, writers, directors. Charitable and altruistic efforts make this person (no male or female yet) special and unique. He rattled off a list of military-related charities, foundations, and honors, including an Academy Award nomination for a 1994 movie.

And then the name was announced: Gary Sinise. Perhaps his best known acting role was as Lt. Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump, but his work with veterans, military, and first responders is the stuff of legend. Since the Tournament of Roses has posted a press release with all his many activities, we will cut to the remarks he made in accepting this latest honor.

Sinise opened with a story about the time he lived in Pasadena. In front of his house was a speed hump with the word BUMP painted on the street. “Someone painted out the ‘B’ and made it ‘G’, he said. A few days later, a Pasadena Police officer dropped by to warn him that there had been some burglaries, and asked if he had seen anything suspicious. And then the officer handed the actor a script!

“We moved to Malibu after that,” he said.

Sinise loves the Rose Parade, and watched enviously when he lived in wintry Chicago. When he moved to Southern California, he wanted to be part of it. Standing behind the lectern as the new Grand Marshal, he grinned, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”

“I feel blessed,” he said, after mentioning that he is looking forward to bringing his first grandchild, now only two months old, to the parade. Later, we were able to ask if he enjoyed being a grandad. “Oh, yeah, she’s a beautiful little thing, beautiful!” he proudly replied. We remarked that he is getting her off to a good start, taking her to the parade.

Sinise told another reporter that he was so touched when he got the call inviting him to serve. In his acceptance speech, he said that it will be an opportunity for him to do something positive for veterans and Gold Star families.

“If shining a little spotlight on me can shine a spotlight on them, I am very glad to do it,” he said.

A photo gallery of the event is posted!

Tournament of Roses crowns 100th Rose Queen Isabella: Photo gallery

100th Rose Queen Isabella Marie Marez is flanked by (L-R) Rose Princesses Georgia Jane Cervenka, Sydney Grace Pickering, Julianne Elise Lauenstein, Alexandra Marie Artura, Savannah Rose Bradley, Lauren Elizabeth Buehner

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

One of the most exciting events for Rose Parade aficionados—and that includes people all across America—is the Announcement and Coronation of the Rose Queen and Presentation of the Royal Court. This year, people were especially riveted, because the young woman who made it from one of 700 to one of seven would serve as the 100th Rose Queen. She will preside over the 129th Rose Parade and the 104th Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2018 and will be asked a thousand times what it is like to be Number 100.

The audience waited breathlessly last Wednesday evening as Pres. Lance Tibbet pulled the name out of the envelope he had been handed by Queen & Court chair Dave Link. Reporters and photographers had pens and cameras at the ready. The seven girls on the Royal Court held hands, some with eyes closed, and steeled themselves for the decision one way or another. And it came, so swiftly after what must have seemed like an eternity to them.

Pres. Tibbet announced, “The 100th Rose Queen, from La Salle High School, is Isabella Marie Marez!” The audience exploded. The princesses on the Royal Court swarmed Queen Isabella. The moment had arrived and passed, and the Queen for a Year retreated to change from her champagne and pink gown into pure white.

Making a Difference

The event is more than the announcement, of course. It’s about pageantry and history and fun, and the accomplishments of the young women who will serve as ambassadors for the Tournament of Roses. We attempt to capture some of that in this article; the photo gallery at the end of this article takes you there in images.

After a reception on the patio of the historic Pasadena Playhouse, also celebrating 100 years, the milling crowd left the tiled patio and entered the auditorium, an ornate Spanish Colonial Revival space that holds wisps of Old California and memories of young actors who rose to stardom after performing on that stage. It is the perfect place for two grand and venerable and youthful institutions to meet.

The princesses opened the program by introducing themselves and welcomed the 113th President of the Tournament of Roses, Lance Tibbet, and then hurried off to change into the lovely lace gowns designed by Tadashi Shoji.

Each president has a particular focus he or she wants emphasize in the many events the Tournament puts on each year. He distills that into a theme; for Tibbet, it is “Making a Difference.” The girls “each have different stories,” he said. “These girls are already making a difference.” He mentioned that they, like the presidents of the Tournament, stand on the shoulders of those who have come before them.

“The Tournament of Roses brings people together,” Tibbet said. “It reminds us that there is kindness in humankind.”

Each year, the Royal Court picks a charity to receive funds from the coronation ticket sales. This year, it was Elizabeth House, a Pasadena residence that was founded 24 years ago to help homeless pregnant women and their children with programs that will get them on their feet. Executive Director Debora Unruh told us that the shelter, which houses women and any children they have through their pregnancies and for two to four months after their babies are born, received a grant from the Tournament of Roses Foundation in the past.

Presentation of the Royal Court

After his speech, it was time for the 2018 Royal Court to be formally presented. In a nice touch, each father each did a voice over introducing his daughter as she was escorted to her place on the stage by a White Suiter. Her accomplishments were read as snapshots of her life flashed on a screen in the background. For some of the dads, it was an emotional moment. Jesse Marez took a pause of several seconds between his last sentence and reading out his daughter Isabella’s name. Had he forgotten that piece of the introduction? No, it turns out that he was fighting back tears. (Later, Queen Isabella said that he is her best friend, that he cries a lot, and they had teased each other about whether or not he would cry at the ceremony.)

As each young woman entered the spotlight, emcee Ellen K of KOST 103.5FM interviewed her briefly. It was clear that each one of these young ladies has the personality and credentials to be the queen. The lists of volunteer and community service activities are staggering: hospitals, charity organizations, clubs, and one in Belize working to provide clean water. They are Girl Scouts Gold Award recipients, athletes, members of academic honors societies, and leaders.

And then the Rose Queen was announced, there were cheers and tears, as the princesses retired backstage to leave their white rose nosegays and receive their tiaras, and for the queen to change her gown. Other members of the Tournament of Roses family were introduced during the interim.

Little princesses and grown-up queens

Two Make-A-Wish children, Madelyn Kirkpatrick, dressed as Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and Miracle Henderson, dressed as Princess Anna from Frozen came onstage to talk with Ellen K. Madelyn’s wish is to go to Disneyland, and Miracle’s is to go to Disney World. We asked parents Torin and Sara Kirkpatrick and Darryl and Veronica Henderson why the girls were picked, and Torin said, “They chose two girls who like princesses.” Guess that’s a good reason!

Next up was 99th Rose Queen Victoria Castellanos, a graduate of the Temple City High School music program, who sang beautifully and emotionally. Tori was followed by the Grand Dame Margaret Huntley Main, the 22nd Rose Queen and co-founder of the Queens Club with Sally Stanton Rubsamen. She was surrounded by 18 previous Rose Queens.

Never shy with a microphone, Ms. Main quoted the title of her book, A Rose Queen Is Forever. (The title came from a Kodak float of the past, on which 52 Rose Queens appeared.) She told Ellen K that when she received the crown, “I vowed to be the best Queen I could, and every one of us has made the same vow.” Several of the queens spoke about what it has meant to them to be a Rose Queen.

The Coronation

And then it was time. Each Rose Princess, now with a pearl tiara in her hair, glided onto the stage on the arm of her father: Georgia, Lauren, Sydney, Savannah, Julianne, Alexandra. 2017 princesses Maya Kawaguchi Khan, Shannon Larsuel, and Natalie Petrosian handed red rose bouquets to each. Last of all, Queen Isabella stepped into the spotlight. John Cotter, who comes with the Mikimoto crown, handed the diadem to a gloved Tibbet, and the president placed it on Isabella’s head. The final formality, the recitation of the Rose Queen Oath, ended with “I now proclaim you the 100th Rose Queen!” And then it was time for photos and interviews, and celebrity treatment that would bowl any high school girl over—except for one as exceptionally grounded as the seven young women on the 2018 Royal Court.

Rose Queen Isabella Marie Marez

When we spoke with Princess Isabella after the Royal Court was announced earlier this month, we asked why she had tried out. She said she wanted to get out of her comfort zone, which is playing softball and getting dirty and sweaty. When we spoke with Queen Isabella after the ceremony, we asked if she had gotten out of that comfort zone. “Way out of it! 10,000 miles!” she enthused. “The Court made me my best self.”

She said the formal ball gown “is way different from my uniform.” Softball pants are easy to move around in and have lots of legroom. The gown though, is “more comfortable than I thought.” The full skirt allows for movement, and the gown is tailored to her exact measurements.

At age 17, Queen Isabella has already compiled a lengthy list of accomplishments and service, as have the other girls on the Court, which are listed here. What does she think made her stand out to the Queen & Court Committee members? “I think it’s my passion for what I do,” she responded, citing her work on women’s rights and other social justice issues. She believes in treating all people equally, which is a good quality for a queen, we think.

Isabella lives in Altadena, a community just north of Pasadena. She likes the confluence of town and nature in Altadena; one of her favorite memories is the smell and comfort of being in the forest among the trees. Her parents are Jesse Marez and Christine Marez and she has four siblings, Alexandra, Jennifer, Justin and William.

Just for fun, here are some coincidences in Isabella’s life on the court. Like the 99th Rose Queen Victoria, she bears the name of a famous queen from history. The girl she stood next to for court appearances from Oct. 1 to her coronation is named Alexandra Marie, a combination of her middle name and her sister’s first name. Since applicants are only known by number until the final round, her No. 469 she would have spent a good deal of time near No. 470, Princess Julianne.

For all the articles on the 2018 Royal Court, check out our dedicated webpage.

 

All photos are copyright by Laura B. Monteros

Guessing game: Who will the 2018 Rose Parade Grand Marshal be?

by Laura Berthold Monteros

There are two questions people ask when it comes to the Tournament of Roses Grand Marshal: Who will it be? and When will it be announced?” The answer to the second is probably the last week in October, but the answer to the first is up for grabs. Who will ride down Colorado Blvd. in a spiffy car at the Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2018? Guess along with me.

Some clues

Courtesy Pasadena Tournament of Roses
  • The theme of the 129th Tournament of Roses is “Making a Difference.” Pres. Lance Tibbet describes it as celebrating “the power of kindness and the people in our communities that make a positive difference without reservation.”
  • There are some key words that stand out. “Communities” implies local difference-makers, those people who may not be terribly famous, but who see a need and meet it. “Without reservation” might imply that the person acts without considering what it might cost her personally, and without any idea of gaining from it herself. “Kindness” is especially important. The Grand Marshal will not be someone who only gives money.
  • The poster, which looks like a grafitti-covered wall, has a graphic that reads “human + kind” with u + i in light blue letters. This might mean that the Grand Marshal will be someone who makes a difference by enabling others to do so.

Some history

  • Will it be a woman? While it would be wonderful to have a woman—in 129 years, there have only been 14 different woman who sat in the Grand Marshal’s seat. All except two of these women were either entertainers or athletes. Five of them were co-Grand Marshals with men. (Though Shirley Temple, who served three times, was only in a group once.)
  • Only the two female presidents picked women who were not in the above classification. Libby Wright chose Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 2006, and Sally Bixby chose Dame Jane Goodall in 2013.
  • While Dwight D. Eisenhower was popular as a general and President, it is highly unlikely that any politician or general would be chosen today. The last politician was then-Congressman Ben Nighthorse Campbell, who was asked at the last minute to counterbalance the uncomfortable choice of His Grace Cristobol Colon in 1992.
  • Probably no First Ladies, either, though Michelle Obama with children’s health and Laura Bush with reading would honor both the office of the First Lady and the office of Grand Marshal.
  • Supreme Court Justices come with a double whammy: politics and the tendency for it to rain buckets when they serve.

Some conjectures from Facebook

  • Oprah Winfrey is at the top of the list for many people who follow “All Things Rose Parade” on Facebook.
  • Tommy Lasorda’s name was put into the hat, as was Jimmy Carter’s—two very different men.
  • Father Gregory Boyle, who founded Homeboy Industries here in Los Angeles, was a suggestion, because “He has touched so many lives despite great risk to himself at times.”
  • A list of women was submitted, with their accomplishments: Jody Williams who won the Nobel Peace prize, union organizer Dolores Huerta, the Mothers of East LA who prevented the prison from being built in their community, Penny Newman, who fought to get the Stringfellow Acid Pits cleaned up.
  • And from yours truly, Bill & Melinda Gates, for the work of their foundation; Gustavo Dudamel for the energy he has brought to music in Los Angeles, public schools, and all over the country; Josh Gad for calling critically ill children and speaking to them as Olaf from Frozen; or an organization, such as Doctors Without Borders.

These are all good guesses, but my peanuts are on Jimmy Carter and his wife Roslyn. They put their hands to the plow as well as in their pockets. They hammer and saw for Habitat for Humanity and travel around the world to monitor elections. Among many projects, the Carter Center has worked to eradicate diseases and vectors such as Guinea worm, river blindness, malaria, and others. Roslyn took an active part in the Presidency, sitting in on cabinet meetings and offering advice. Jimmy wrote many books on peace and reconciliation, including one directed at middle schoolers. He won the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for the Carter Center’s work “to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”

What are your guesses?

 

Tournament of Roses announces 2018 float judges: Carrión, Kaye, Sutton

María Eugenia Carrión, Bradley Kaye, and James Sutton will choose the 2018 Rose Parade float trophy winners

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros (from reports)

The three judges chosen by the Tournament of Roses to award trophies to floats in the 129th Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2018 have impressive backgrounds in floral design, horticulture, floats, and pageantry, and they all fit the theme “Making a Difference.” The judges are María Eugenia Carrion, Bradley Kaye, and Jim Sutton.

They will award trophies to 24 of the 40-45 floats that participate in the parade using the updated award criteria for 2018, which include creative design, floral craftsmanship, artistic merit, computerized animation, thematic interpretation, floral and color presentation, and dramatic impact.

The 2018 Tournament of Roses President, Lance Tibbet said, “Being a horticultural professional, managing and owning a wholesale nursery, it’s an honor to welcome these professionals to the Tournament family. I’m excited to have these very talented members of the floral and design professions judge our floats this year.” He will announce the award-winning floats the morning of the parade on the front steps of Tournament House.

About the 2018 Rose Parade Float Judges

María Eugenia Carrión comes by her talent naturally. The daughter Continue reading “Tournament of Roses announces 2018 float judges: Carrión, Kaye, Sutton”

Rose Bowl Hall of Fame 2017: Mack Brown, Cade McNown, Charles Woodson, Dr. Charles West

From Tournament of Roses reports –Mack Brown (coach, University of Texas), Cade McNown (UCLA), Charles Woodson (Michigan), and Dr. Charles West (Washington & Jefferson) will be inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame as the Class of 2017. The Rose Bowl Hall of Fame was established in 1989 to pay tribute to members of the Rose Bowl Game who have contributed to the history and excitement of the game, and those who embody the highest level of passion, strength, tradition and honor associated with The Granddaddy of Them All.

“These four individuals epitomize what the Tournament of Roses and Rose Bowl Game stand for,” said Tournament of Roses Football Committee Chair Brad Ratliff. “This class has exhibited strength, passion, tradition and honor in relation to college football, but also in making a difference in their communities.”

The induction ceremony will take place at noon PT on Dec. 30, 2017, outside of the Rose Bowl Stadium. The Rose Bowl Game will be played as the 2018 College Football Playoff Semifinal on Jan. 1, 2018. It will feature two of the top four teams in the country, with the matchup of the No. 1 and No. 4 teams or the No. 2 and No. 3.     Continue reading “Rose Bowl Hall of Fame 2017: Mack Brown, Cade McNown, Charles Woodson, Dr. Charles West”

2018 Royal Court

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100th Rose Queen crowned by Tournament of Roses is Isabella Marie Marez

Tournament of Roses crowns 100th Rose Queen Isabella: Photo gallery

Buy tickets to the coronation of the 100th Rose Queen & presentation of 2018 Royal Court

One out of 7: How the Rose Queen is chosen from the Royal Court

Tournament of Roses 2018 Royal Court Princess profiles

Hobnobbing with Rose Parade royalty in Pasadena

Crowning the Rose Parade Queens: Photo gallery

Royal Court hopefuls line up for an opportunity to be a princess in the 2018 Rose Parade

Even after 100 years, a Rose Queen is forever at Pasadena Museum of History

Rose Parade Royal Court applications are open for the 100th Rose Queen

Tournament of Roses inspires a middle-school mystery filled with suspense and danger

 

 

Tournament of Roses celebrities and Salvation Army Band in 2017 Rose Parade

A special honor went to retiring Executive Director/CEO Bill Flinn with a ride in a 1936 Packard Phaeton, one of only 10 made in the last year of production. Floral designers chose reds and hot pinks to contrast the silver finish.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Celebrities are not a big part of the Tournament of Roses Parade. Some float sponsors have celebrity riders, of course, but the Tournament itself generally only has four: Grand Marshal, Rose Bowl Hall of Fame inductees, Pasadena Mayor, and TOR President. The 128th Rose Parade had a whole slew of them, with three Grand Marshals, each in her/his own car, and retiring Executive Director/CEO Bill Flinn followed by his beloved Salvation Army Band added to the usual subjects.

All the cars were decorated by FTD floral designers J. Keith White, AIFD CFD and Peter Samek, AIFD. We wrote up the parade appearances of the Grand Marshals and Pres. Brad Ratliff with his 20 mules with great photos of the people and rides. Check out the photo gallery below for the rest of the 2017 Rose Parade celebrities. Continue reading “Tournament of Roses celebrities and Salvation Army Band in 2017 Rose Parade”

Twenty Mule Team brings back Death Valley Days with remarkable craftsmanship

Living history: Twenty Mule Team pulls replicas of the iconic Death Valley boron ore wagons down the 2017 Rose Parade route. In the wagons are the family of Pres. Brad Ratliff and people involved in bringing this piece of history to life. Copyright 2017 R. Monteros

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The last time the Twenty Mule Team pulled freight wagons along Colorado Blvd. in the Rose Parade was 1999, when Pres. Dick Ratliff chose the 110-year-old wagons as his personal conveyance. They were back on Jan. 2, 2017 for the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade at the request of Pres. Brad Ratliff, Dick’s son, in an illustration of his theme “Echoes of Success.” He and his family filled two wagons, this time brand-new replicas of the original 1882 lorries that hauled 10 tons of borax each. The Ratliff family was a light load by comparison, so the wagons had to be weighted with huge water tanks.

“Mules need the weight to pull,” Preston Chiaro, president of the Death Valley Conservancy (DVC),  said adding that the weight also helps with braking. Plywood platforms and hay bales were included so the riders could stand and wave to the crowd.

The third appearance of the team was also an echo of its first Rose Parade appearance a century ago, when it also appeared in the inauguration parade of Pres. Woodrow Wilson. The wagons were decorated for the parade by FTD floral designers J. Keith White, AIFD CFD and Peter Samek, AIFD. White told The Rose Examiner during Deco Week that he wasn’t sure how he would flower what seem like gigantic wooden bins, but the photos show that they did an excellent job of nesting white and red roses in green garlands, with white tulips, carnations, baby breath, and other flowers as accents.

Be sure to check out the gallery below for photos and more information in the captions.

The commission to build the wagons came in January, 2016, and was given to Dave Engel, owner of Engel’s Coach Shop in Joliet, Mont. The shop builds and restores equine-drawn conveyances from sleds to broughams to Yellowstone coaches. He started on this project Continue reading “Twenty Mule Team brings back Death Valley Days with remarkable craftsmanship”

2018 Tournament of Roses

2018 Tournament of Roses Theme poster. Courtesy Pasadena TOR.

 

“MAKING A DIFFERENCE”

The 129th Tournament of Roses in photos and stories

The Tournament of Roses in Pasadena is more than the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2018. It is the week-long “America’s New Year Celebration,” chock full of floats, bands, equestrians, and family-friendly activities. Visitors can attend Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places, Showcase of Floats, and Live on Green.

The 129th Rose Parade features bands from all over the world, equestrian groups, and around 45 flower-covered floats presenting the theme “Making a Difference.” The 104th Rose Bowl Game pits the top teams in “The Granddaddy of Them All,” the oldest post-season collegiate bowl game.

Read all about it by clicking on the links below, which contain information about the events and people involved as well as tips on attending the events and getting around.  The list will be updated as articles are posted.  Be sure to bookmark this page and return to it frequently!

 

General Information

INSIDER’S GUIDE TO THE 2018 TOURNAMENT OF ROSES

2018 TOURNAMENT OF ROSES CALENDAR

There is no such thing as the Rose BOWL Parade!

Will it rain on my Rose Parade? The rules: No Sundays, water themes, or Supreme Court Justices equals no rain

What’s in a nickname? How Pasadena California is known to locals and the world

Tournament of Roses News & Events

Make a real difference with Real Change meters

Rose Parade 

Information, floats, marching bands, and equestrians

The 2018 Royal Court

Articles & albums about the Tournament of Roses Royal Court

Rose Bowl Game

Information, events, people

Special Events

Bandfest show schedule for 2018 Rose Parade marching units

Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places, Showcase of Floats for 129th Tournament of Roses

Tournament of Roses Foundation presents $200,000 in grants to SGV non-profits

Phoenix Decorating Company chosen to design gateway arch to Arroyo Seco Weekend

Even after 100 years, a Rose Queen is forever at Pasadena Museum of History

Celebrities & Sponsors

Tournament of Roses Pres. Lance Tibbet is aiming on ‘Making a Difference’ in 2018 

David Eads of LA Chamber announced as new Executive Director/CEO of  Pasadena Tournament of Roses

Guessing game: Who will the 2018 Rose Parade Grand Marshal be?

Helpful Links

Tournament of Roses

Tournament of Roses Parade Day Guide

Visit Pasadena Rose Parade spectator guide

Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau

Rose Bowl Stadium

Visit Pasadena Rose Bowl Game spectator guide

Rose Parade official tours at PrimeSport

Rose Bowl Game official tours at PrimeSport